The Chinese Fire Drill

Sunday, March 11, 2012

McCarthy's Law #118

Pull the trigger first, and think about it never.

1 comment:

Donovan Wheeler said...

I was sent this comment on Reddit, and I felt some of the criticisms were fair:

"It's difficult to parse out the exact meaning of this comic. It seems to be railing against parents choosing against sending their students to certain schools that don't fulfill their demands. The comic portrays parents as being stupid, of being unable to recognize excellent instruction and incapable of providing a proper education to their offspring.

I find this incredibly insulting. The author is classifying all (or a significant portion of) people as incompetent parents. Instead of knowing what's best for their own children, the author advocates for a privileged class who are part of the state monopoly - namely, people like me who have a teaching license - to have more control than parents.

This is arrogance to the nth degree. I do not understand how so many professional educators can have such a sense of entitlement. What is so bad about people choosing for themselves as with other goods and services on the market, as the comic says? Is it that you don't want to be accountable for your actions? Do you not like the idea of mere plebeians judging your competency, ability, and value for the dollar?

We're coming into an age where most students, especially particularly gifted ones, simply do not belong in a formal educational environment for much time at all. With the resources available via the internet, such as TED Talks, online courses, even YouTube, much of what we do is redundant. You can scream 'socialization' all you want, but there are many opportunities for that already, with more opportunities likely to come into existence were government schooling optional.

Remember that before government schooling, even the very poor valued education so much that they would go to great lengths to ensure their children would have more opportunity than they had had. People educated their children without any help from the state for thousands of years, even during periods of explosive technological advancement. There's no need to be afraid of freedom, allowing people to do what's best does work."

My Reply:

"I apologize for not replying right away. I have been working on Raisin in the Sun essays, research papers, and Renaissance literature tests. I also wanted to give myself time to think through all your points carefully because I don't see the value in reacting impulsively. My intent was to suggest that most of the solutions we apply to education (i.e. the reforms) are often politicized & tend to connect emotionally with the public rather than logically. I wasn't implying that teachers deserve entitlement because I don't believe that they do. I have been a long time supporter of reform... Just not the reforms being pushed now. I had read a lot about the trigger mechanisms, & they struck me as an apt subject for a comic. In retrospect, I should have stayed with issues which apply directly to my own sphere of influence. Of course other Redditors have summarily ripped me for being redundant (insert chuckle here). Anyway, I do appreciate your candor & your comments. I didn't set out to insult, merely to promote/provoke a discussion. The Reddit community has certainly given me no mercy, but I believe that such baptisms have value down the road. So my apologies...and thank you."